Mrs. Clean's established in Redmond, WA. in 1975, Mrs. Clean is a house cleaning company dedicated to your satisfaction with a fresh clean home.
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Friday, August 26, 2011

Cleaning Cast Iron Skillets and Pans


I was watching a cooking show on T.V. the other day and the chef was making a deep dish pizza using a cast iron skillet. As my mouth watered from the delicious looking pizza with tasty toppings, I wondered what ever happened to my cast iron skillet. Now it was a quest to find it and recreate the delicacy I was watching.

I dug through my cabinets and there, in the bottom, way in the back, lay my sturdy skillet. After digging it out, I found that it had not been properly cleaned. I now need to clean and season it before cooking anything.

If you find yourself with a rusty or dirty cast iron pan, don’t worry, there are simple tips to get your skillet back in shape. Here is what you will have to do:

Cleaning Cast Iron


Do not use soap and water…ever! Instead, place the pan on the stove and boil some water in it. Let it soak for a while. When food particles start to loosen, turn the heat off. Use an oven mitt and pour out the water.

Wipe out with a paper towel. Never use Brillo pads (or any scouring pad) or any abrasive cleaners on cast iron.

Remove Caked on Food


  • Use a plastic spatula to scrape hard packed food residue and dirt.
  • Pour 1 cup of rock salt in the skillet and heat the pan on low. Put on some oven mitts and scour the dry pan with the rock salt and a dry cleaning rag to loosen bits of caked on food. Be careful not to burn yourself.

Now you should have a clean cast iron skillet. Make sure to dry it thoroughly with a paper towel before moving on to the final step.

Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet


If you had to aggressively clean your skillet with the methods above, you will have to re-season it to keep foods from sticking. Here’s how it is done:

  • Preheat the oven to 400-500 degrees
  • Wipe the inside of the skillet with a very thin layer Crisco (or other type of lard)
  • Bake for an hour or more until the pan stops smoking.
  • Remove from oven and wipe excess oil from the skillet
Tip: After you have done the above steps, cook something fatty; such as bacon in your pan.

The key to keeping even an old skillet in great shape is to not over clean and NEVER use any type of soap or soak it in water.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How to Clean Silk Flowers


There are those of us who have green thumbs and those of us that don't. For those of us that can't manage to keep the simplest of plants alive - the silk flower is often turned to to add color and a little something to decorate and make a room cozy.

A word of advice - keep them out of direct sunlight to keep the color from fading. Keep a variety on hand so you can change them around every now and then.

Alright so let's move on to a couple of cleaning methods you can use to clean your silk flowers and keep them beau-ti-ful.

Shake, Shake - Shake It Up!


In a paper bag (grocery size), put either a handful of salt or cornmeal (about 1 cup, more if you think necessary), or a bag of dried rice. Put your flowers in and shake them up. This is a good way to remove dust and dirt.

Don't forget to make sure the bag top has been folded down a few times to keep everything from flying out.

Water and Liquid Dish Detergent.

Fill your sink half full with cool to luke warm water.

As the water is running, swish in about 2 to 3 tsp. of gentle dishwashing soap to make bubbles. You be the judge depending if you’ve actually added more or less water.

Don’t use hot water as it could cause the flowers to fall apart if the glue loosens.

Keep a rinse bowl handy with plain cool water to dip the flowers in and rinse them off. Use paper towels or a clean towel to lay the flowers out to dry.

Wash a few of the flowers at a time, let two soak while you’re cleaning the other one.

If you keep up with cleaning your silk flowers and they only need a light cleaning then just swish them around, rinse them off, give a little shake to remove excess water, then put them down to dry. This is a good method for the more expensive silk flowers you’ve purchased.

Carefully use your hands to wash each individual flower, dirty petals and all. Be careful of the edges so they don't fray and don't scrub them.

Keep Your Silk Flowers Looking Great!


* As we mentioned above, keep silk flowers out of direct sunlight.
* Test your cleaning methods on a single flower prior to using them.
* If your silk flowers seem a little more fragile and you paid a bit more for them, use a more gentle approach to cleaning them.
* Keep them dusted on a regular basis.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wallpaper Removal Tips


There’s no time like summertime to make some changes around the house. Maybe this time you've decided you no longer want wallpaper in the office or sitting room?

Maybe you want painted walls instead? Removing wallpaper may not be one of the easiest things to do, so I hope we're able to help you out.

First you need to clear the room and take everything off the walls. If there is large furniture that can’t be easily moved out of the room, move it as close to the center of the room as possible and cover it with a drop cloth or whatever you have handy to protect it.

Then you need to have all the right tools to complete the job. Here's a list of the things you'll need:

  • 6" scrapper
  • Wallpaper glue remover
  • Drop cloth or plastic wrap
  • Ladder
  • Garbage can or garbage bags
  • Scoring tool
  • Spray bottle

Now lay down the drop clothes and get started.

Peeling the Wallpaper Off


If luck is on your side, you will be able to just loosen a corner of the wallpaper and gently peel it from the wall. Then all you have to do is clean the remaining paste from the wall. If it doesn’t easily peel off and it’s being difficult, here are the steps you can take to remove it.

Hard to Remove Wallpaper


  1. If you’re peeling the wallpaper and some of it is left behind on the wall take the scoring tool and run it over the walls in a circular motion. This way the wallpaper glue remover you have selected will soften the paper and help dissolve the glue backing.
  2. Spray the glue remover onto wallpaper and let it sit for about 15 – 30 minutes. There are also a couple of recipes you can use below that are made with household items.
  3. Work in sections as you go so your work is continual.
  4. After time has elapsed, carefully take a corner and pull the paper from the wall. If necessary, carefully use the scrapper to remove any remaining paper and paste. Clean the scrapper as you go.
  5. If you have extremely hard to remove paper and paste, you may need to use additional solution letting it sit for 15 minutes. If you think it is necessary, you may want to carefully and lightly use the scoring tool before spraying the solution.

When you’re done you’ll be able to wash the walls, repair any holes in the wall, and you’ll be ready to paint.

Wallpaper Residue Remover Recipes


Baking Soda and Water


In a spray bottle fill with hot water and add one large tablespoon baking soda.

Vinegar and Water


In a bucket, mix one gallon warm water with 1 cup vinegar. Fill spray bottle and spray walls.

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